Australia's Inaction Not Just Morally Repugnant, Also Legally NegligentI hope the fabulous weez doesn't mind me quoting him at length (or indeed having a mincing homo refer to him as fabulous :P).
He's made this point in comments to one of my earlier posts, but this revelation of the unconstitutionality of the Fiji ruling is tremendously important and puts a whole new spin on this appalling travesty of justice. Consequently I believe it deserves a posting all of its own.
"Fiji revised its constitution in 1998. The new constitution of Fiji, effective July 1998, recognises the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation:
"Text of the Constitution of the Fiji Islands (Ratified July 27, 1998)
Chapter 4--Bill of Rights: Section 38, 1 and 2:
(1) Every person has the right to equality before the law.
(2) A person must not be unfairly discriminated against, directly or indirectly, on the ground of his or her:
(a) actual or supposed personal characteristics or circumstances, including race, ethnic origin, colour, place of origin, gender, sexual orientation (my emphasis), birth, primary language, economic status, age or disability; or
(b) opinions or beliefs, except to the extent that those opinions or beliefs involve harm to others or the diminution of the rights or freedoms of others; or on any other ground prohibited by this Constitution.
"Fiji was only the second country in the world to recognise such a right- and it has been challenged by homophobes in Fijian politics.
Several attempts have been made to remove the 'sexual orientation' clause form the constitution- none successful.
Indeed, Mr. McCoskar was tried and convicted under a law which had been invalidated under the sexual orientation anti-discrimination protections of the 1998 constitution.
Magistrate Shah has some explaining to do."
Not nearly as much explaining as Lord Downer/DFA, who either knew about this and knowingly lied (Howard government, lying to its people??! *Shock*) when claiming Australians should respect Fiji's "laws", or didn't know about this, in which case they might want to think about employing less incompetent international law specialists.
After all, if humble bloggers can discover and explain this illegality, you'd like to think your own government can, too.